Let’s cut right to the chase. You can forget about playing the Rockies on the road. In 2006, the Colorado Rockies were 32-49 on the road. In fact, over the past eight seasons, the Rockies are just 239-409 away from Coors Field. Because the Rockies are so poor away from Coors Field, public perception is that the Rockies are a bad team period. However, Colorado has been solid at home and often times the Rockies show great value as a home underdog. At 44-37 at Coors in 2006, the Rockies held the second-best home record in the National League West. As the Rockies’ young, talented offense continues to gain experience, we’ll expect them improve at Coors Field again in 2007.
The Colorado Rockies improved nine wins from the 2005 to 2006 seasons knotting them with San Francisco and Arizona with 76 wins a piece. The Rockies still have to have to make some strides to avoid having their seventh losing season in a row. A turnaround is taking far longer than Rockies fans would like. Colorado’s build-from-within approach may be noble in today’s big money game, but it is not the best recipe for success in the short term. How many more losing seasons can the Rockies possible take before GM Dan O’Dowd and Manger Clint Hurdle are out of jobs. The new contracts these guys signed prior to this season were more than a bit of a surprise to me. I feel that buying some talent could be the Rocks only way out.
With Jason Jennings off to Houston, the Rockies’ pitching staff is even more thin. Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis will become even more vital parts of this Colorado rotation. Francis has won 27 games in his first two major league seasons and I think he evolves into Colorado’s ace. Cook is listed as the Rockies number one man, but his 9-15 record last season doesn’t have be convinced. Rodrigo Lopez is a guy with 15-win potential. He has recorded 14 wins or more in three seasons since 2002 in the tough American League East. The National League West could help Lopez to a break out season.
At the plate, Garret Atkins and Matt Holliday will put up lofty power numbers. Todd Helton isn’t the old Todd Helton, but he is still a solid stick and will hit behind them in the fifth spot giving Colorado a very respectable middle of the order. Willy Taveras comes over from Houston and brings his .329 career on-base percentage with him. The rest of the order will have to make a name for itself. Kaz Matsui is a guy who could emerge as another contributing force on the offense. He hit safely in 20 of his 24 starts for the Rockies last season.
The Rockies are still young and missing some pieces, but I think they improve again in 2007. Look for the Rockies at home to be a nice play this season.